Bril. 3. Psychiat. (1976), 128, 57—60

Some Personality Characteristics of Patients with Anorexia Nervosa* By D. E. SMART,

P. J. V. BEUMONT

and G. C. W. GEORGE

Summary. Twenty-two female patients with anorexia nervosa were assessed by means of objective personality testing. The EPI, Leyton Obsessional Inventory, Cattdll's i6 PF and Raven's Matrices were used for this purpose. The personality profile that emerged was of a highly neurotic and introverted person with moderately severe obsessional features and average intelligence.

INTRODUCTION

TABLI I

AND METHOD

The personality of patients suffering from anorexia nervosa has previously been described by means of detailed case histories and the analysis

of clinical

data,

but

there

have

Clinicaldetailsof thepatients (Means and range)

been

Number [email protected]

few reports of objective personality assessment on these subjects. In the present communication, we report the result of such an investigation. Twenty-two post-pubertal female patients, who were either currently being treated in a psychiatric ward of a general hospital or as out-patients were included in the study. All had been under the consultant care of one of us (PB), and the diagnosis

of anorexia

..

..

(years) .. (13—26)Duration of illness (6—120)Highest

....i8

(months)..28

(82—154)Lowest weight prior to illness..zo6 weight* during illness..68 * Expressed as a percentage (Society of Actuaries, 1959).

(5o-8o)

of standard

weight

nervosa

had been made on criteria suggested by Russell ([email protected]'o). Clinical details of the patients are given in Table I.

Form A (Cattell and Eber, 1962) measures the higher order factors of anxiety, extraversion, alert poise and independence, factorially de rived from i6 specific traits. The Leyton Obses sional Inventory (Cooper, 1970) assesses the METHODOLOGY number and severity of obsessional symptoms A battery of psychological tests was selected and traits. Resistance and interference scores to provide a broad spectrum profile of per reflect the intensity of distress caused by the sonality characteristics. It consisted of three symptoms and their intrusion upon other personality inventories. Eysenck Personality Inventory(EPI)Form A (Eysenckand Eysenck, activities. In addition to these personality tests, Raven's 1964) measures two major dimensions of per Standard Progressive Matrices (Raven, 1956) sonality, extraversion and neuroticism. Cattell's i6

Personality

Factor

Questionnaire

(i6

was used as a measure

PF)

RESULTS

•¿ From the Department of Psychiatry,Groote Schuur

Hospital, and the University of Cape Town. This

work

was supported

by grants

from

the

of intelligence.

On the EPI, the patients were significantly more neurotic(p

Some personality characteristics of patients with anorexia nervosa.

Twenty-two female patients with anorexia nervosa were assessed by means of objective personality testing. The EPI, Leyton Obsessional Inventory, Catte...
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